New Delhi: On the intervening night of Sunday and Monday last week, at 3o’clock, some men lined up to enter a house in Afghanistan when everyone was sleeping. They were raiders with guns.
Gurmeet Singh, 25, lived in a joint family and had gone to sleep at 2 am after checks and rounds around his house. Little did he know that the cursed elements of the land will manage to get to his family. As the footsteps and chants began to increase in his house, Singh woke up just to see two men looting all the hard earned money from their chest. “There were other men outside. I heard them speaking when I woke up. I was alone, after which I screamed in panic,”Singh said.
Though all the nine members were jolted out of their sleep by his loud cries, they were helpless and unable to do a thing. Two men with long guns, with their barrels pointed towards the family members, held Singh’s siblings tamed. They already knew that both guns and people, kill people in Afghanistan. They were cautious and did not react. Before their eyes, Singh and his three brothers saw US$ 4,000 (INR 3 lakh) of their hard earned money looted and four mobile phones snatched away.
For the first time, the family had dealt with terror at such a close range. However, Singh said that “the fear in our hearts has been there since a long time; we imagine an attack in the day, and expect a tormenting knock in the night. We only rejoice when we wake up in the morning as we see each other alive. Then we again go fearing for our lives”.
Describing the predicament of being in evident minority, Singh said:“When he goes out in the market, he is conspicuous as he dons his religious Kirpan. Some people know him. They watch him cordially. However, the miscreants who don’t also get to know him.”
He said he has felt the dread of strange stares of those whom he doesn’t know. He has gone back home in sweat several times, fearing for his family. “We all lived in agony imagining something bad would happen to our family today,” Gurmeet’s brother said.
There have been killings of 18 Sikhs since 2018. The community has been under constant threat in the state, as there have often been attacks on minorities, gurudwaras and, particularly, on Sikhs. After the Singh’s family was raided, they started collecting important things in order to leave the place. The following Monday night, they were in their hometown Jalalabad. On Tuesday, they rented a cab and reached Kabul. And finally on Wednesday this week, they boarded a plane to reach Delhi.